Sex At The Margins By Laura Augustin Essay

816 Words Aug 23rd, 2015 4 Pages
Laura Augustin’s ‘Sex at the Margins’ (2007), and Jerker Edstrom’s 2010 article ‘Time to Call the Bluff’ highlight similar barriers to effective development programs.
Augustin challenges imperialism in international aid, particularly concerning prostitution. Her work discusses Western aid workers’ desire to impose their own morals and control those that they help, for example, determining what aid is received (Augustin, 2007). Edstrom notes similar issues within HIV/AIDS interventions: Westerners giving aid suited to their own culturally-specific morality, hindering its effectiveness (2010). Edstrom believes that focussing on Africans as pitiful and vulnerable ‘noble savages’ to be saved, results in Western development workers overlooking what agency Africans do have (2010). Consequently, workers ignore the reality of sexual relations and risk practices, and structural inequalities that create risk factors - as acknowledging this reality would involve challenging their own societies and structures (Edstrom, 2010).
Both articles note that development programs oversimplify complex issues. Augustin notes that migrant women are grouped into categories such as ‘victims of trafficking’, ‘domestic workers’ (2007), but no group denoting migrant women in consensual sex-work. Edstrom deplores categories such as ‘men having sex with men’ (MSM) used in AIDS discussions, as they eliminate alternative experiences, such as heterosexual anal intercourse, and lead to ineffective,…

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